CEiMB: Tuscan Vegetable Soup
I’m not sure what the weather is like where you live, but here in the suburbs of Atlanta, it does not feel like October. We’ve been getting a lot of rain interspersed with some really warm, dare I say hot even, humid days. Last Friday’s high was 85. Eighty-five! In October! There will be those of you who will hear that and be jealous, but, after a long, hot summer, I am ready for Fall! I’m ready to put on a cozy sweater, curl up on the couch with all my boys under a fleece blanket, and drink a warm spicy treat. Unfortunately, that is not to be, at least not for a while.
Soup is another one of those coveted Fall must-haves. Is there anything better than hot soup on a cold evening? I always think of the commercials where a snowman comes inside, sits down at the kitchen table, and starts eating some soup. Then you see the snow dripping off into a pool of melty slush, and it was actually a boy. The idea is that the soup warmed him. It’s true, I feel like soup warms me up from the inside out. Even though I wouldn’t exactly call this soup weather, there is something inherently comforting about a bowl of soup, and thanks to a huge storm rolling through the area, today was a perfect day to partake in some soul-soothing yumminess.
I want to extend my thanks to Pam at Lobster and Fishsticks for picking this week’s CEiMB recipe because it isn’t something I would have chosen myself, and then I would have been missing out on a great recipe. For the most part, I stuck to the recipe as written, and it turned out wonderfully! My apartment smelled awesome, like I had something simmering on the stove all day, but this soup comes together very quickly. The first change I made was in regards to the amount of salt. I decided to only add half the amount of salt called for because I knew I could add more later if necessary. It was more than enough salt for me, especially once I added a bit of Parmesan cheese. Next time, I might omit the salt completely. I also added more garlic and vegetables in general since veggies are a great way to bulk up soup and add bulk without lots of calories. The only other thing I changed was due to an error on my part. I was so sure I had sage, but it was nowhere to be found when I went to add it. A quick Google search told me I could substitute rosemary in its place so that is what I used instead. Overall, I was really happy with this recipe and wouldn’t change a thing.
Tuscan Vegetable Soup
15 ounces low-sodium canellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrot
2 stalks celery, diced
2 small zucchini, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme leave
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
14.5 ounces no salt added diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach leaves
In a small bowl mash half of the beans with a masher or the back of a spoon, and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, zucchini, garlic, thyme, rosemary, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper, and cook stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the broth and tomatoes with the juice and bring to a boil. Add the mashed and whole beans and the spinach leaves and cook until the spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes more.
Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.